ALT+LDN in pictures: The Kid LAROI, Finn Askew + more play UK's first alt, hip-hop & rock festival

Photos and words: Sam Nahirny

A festival built to unite fans of hip-hop, rock and alternative culture, the inaugural ALT+LDN achieved what it set out to do: celebrate individualism.

Putting on a new festival pre-pandemic is a headache in itself - let alone amid a global health crisis - and despite the unfortunate case of several US acts, including Machine Gun Kelly and Princess Nokia, having to pull out due to travel restrictions, festival-goers sure-as-hell embraced the chaos.

Two stages. With a strong sprinkling of ‘let’s put completely opposite artists on back-to-back just to eff with people’, and, it did in the best way possible.

The main stage opened to the sense-stimulating Mimi Barks. Trap-metal at its finest. The doom trap Berlin-born star decked out full house-of-horrors vibes before she and her band ripped the (humongous) stage a new one.

Next, it was time for some Finn Askew, who is basically destined to be mega-super-world famous at some point in the next two years. There couldn't be a festival more fitting for the 20-year-old star-on-the-rise from the sleepy town of Wellington, South West England.

With influences ranging from Lil Peep and Juice WRLD to Nirvana and The Beach Boys, Askew - who rocked a patchwork denim two-piece - has a charm about him and his blend of pop, hip-hop and rock was an instant hit with the crowd.

After necking some fried chicken (shout to the food village, top scores by festival food standards), it was time to wash it down with a cup of BVDLVD, who obliterated our ear drums (in the best way possible) with his bass-crushing trap-rage-metal.

Back over on the main stage, Bob Vylan brought on a monsoon of mosh, with their angsty guitar-fuelled punk rap.

Dana Dentata, the Canadian goth rap queen who hails her songs "stripper jams", turned the crowd on with gory visuals - dangling creepy baby dolls from a chain between her legs and smiling sinisterly in between spitting (with impeccable flow) and strutting her stuff.

Post Malone co-signed Clever, meanwhile, started his set with his DJ playing Juice WRLD classics, before nailing his hazy rap to a very devoted crowd.

Arguably one of the most famous rappers of the past decade, Atlanta's Lil Yachty brought Stateside joy to Clapham in heavy doses. Hearing his Kyle collab ‘I Spy’ had crowd members piling towards the barriers.

As the sun set over Clapham Common, it was time for the festival's major popstar to shine.

The Kid LAROI - who currently has one of the biggest songs ('Stay') in the world right now with none other than Mr. Justin Bieber - stole the show with hook-after-hook, lighters-in-the-air moments, and everything you'd expect from a global megastar.

After rocking, rapping, and, just about everything in between, it was time for headliners Architects - one of the best live bands the UK has to offer - to bring the fire, and Sam Carter and co delivered the goods, closing out one of the most incomparable festival experiences the UK has to offer.

Here's hoping it will be back for more madness next year!